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gram·ma·ry /ˈɡramərē/

noun: A blog of thoughts, news, and everything insightful! #Hello1HP

Wordsmith of Color: Warsan Shire

Feb 07, 2019

A poet and activist as young as she is internationally renowned and groundbreaking, Warsan Shire has sent shock waves across the literary world with the warmth, worldliness, vividness, and viscera of her pieces, which transcend race, religion, gender, and generations.. Many have (recently) known her to be the inspiration behind Beyoncé’s visual album, Lemonade, but Warsan Shire, now twenty-nine, has been writing poetry since she was eleven and sharing her works with the public since she was sixteen—during which she had even won an international poetry slam. Born in Kenya in 1988 to Somali parents, Shire had migrated to London with her family when she was only a year old and would la......

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Khaled Hosseini: A Voice for Afghanistan

Jan 31, 2019

In times of trouble, chaos, and confusion, art is something that people turn to for escape. However, art has also become a means through which thoughts, opinions, and ideas are discussed. Some authors, such as Khaled Hosseini, tell their own stories in the hopes of making more people understand their struggles. Author Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because of the nature of his father’s work, Hosseini grew up in various parts of the world. Hosseini and his family always thought that they would eventually return to Afghanistan and live there for good. Unfortunately, this was not to be. In 1978, the Saur Revolution occurred, leading them to seek asylum in the United Stat......

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The Academic Fictionist: A. S. Byatt

Jan 24, 2019

A. S. Byatt’s stories thread through notable periods in British history and defy expectations with intellectual characters and fantastical elements. Throughout the decades, A. S. Byatt has woven a rich tapestry of fictional works inspired by real-life authors and artists as well as influential literary movements. Antonia Susan Byatt (née Drabble) was born on August 24, 1936, in Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England. Her father was a judge, and her late mother was a Cambridge teacher turned housewife whose domineering personality greatly affected the Drabble children. Byatt is also the elder sister of fellow novelist Margaret Drabble, each of whom, press have reported, harbor......

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Portrait of a Filipino Writer: Nick Joaquin

Jan 17, 2019

As one of the most renowned English writers in Philippine history, Nick Joaquin crafted memorable stories that not only promoted a multifaceted appreciation for Filipino culture but also presented hard-hitting critique and insights into the religious, political, and socioeconomic history of his overcolonized home country, a true testament to the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Joaquin was born in Paco, Manila, on May 4, 1917, the fifth of ten children whose mother was an English/Spanish teacher and whose father was a colonel under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo during the Philippine Revolution of 1896 against Spanish colonizers. As a child, Joaquin was an avid reader of his mother......

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Moving Words and Moving Pictures: Stephen Chbosky

Jan 10, 2019

In the late nineties, one novel—film director and screenwriter Stephen Chbosky’s only novel—resonated with a self-conflicted yet emotionally rich generation of young adults. Since then, he has been dubbed one of the most moving and intimate storytellers for young American readers, turning the spotlight on teen issues, childhood trauma, and lasting friendships. Chbosky was born on January 25, 1970, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his mother a tax preparer and his father an executive and consultant at a steel factory. As a fan of “the classics, horror, and fantasy, the young Chbosky admired the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, and J. D. Salinger—particularly The Catcher i......

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O. Henry: Wit Beyond Measure

Dec 21, 2018

The great thing about short stories is that you can read them in one sitting. However, not all authors are so great at creating small stories that pack a huge punch. William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, is one author who sure knew the meaning of great gifts in small packages. Porter was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1862. When he was three, his mother died of tuberculosis; after which, he and his father lived with his paternal grandmother. He loved books as a child, reading classics and dime novels. He and his father received support from relatives: he studied with his aunt until he was fifteen years old, then started working with his uncle, who owned a drugsto......

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Hans Christian Andersen: A Spark of Hope

Dec 14, 2018

  Other than the Brothers Grimm, Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen is also a popular creator of fairytales. With works like “The Little Mermaid,” “Thumbelina,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and many more, Andersen will be remembered for many more years to come. Andersen was born in 1816 in Odense, Denmark. His first exposure to literature were the stories in the Arabian Nights. He was sent to a local school by his mother, but Andersen had to support himself throughout his basic education. He made money by becoming an apprentice for a weaver and a tailor. Andersen moved to Copenhagen at the age fourteen, intent on becoming an actor. At a young a......

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Charles Dickens: Creator of a Christmas Classic

Dec 07, 2018

Christmas is a holiday of tradition: the exchange of gifts, the exchange of songs, and the exchange of stories. The most important story of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ, but many writers have also created equally uplifting stories of hope and love set in the holiday season. Charles Dickens is perhaps one of the greatest writers of Christmas tales. Born in the early 1800s, Dickens was aware of poverty from an early age. He started working when he was as young as twelve years old in order to contribute to the family after his father was imprisoned. Dickens never returned to school, but his immense interest in books allowed him to have a great career in literature. Other than creat......

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